Customs Officer

Job Description

As a Customs Officer (now known as a Border Force Officer) you follow your training and use critical thinking skills to help secure Australia’s borders. Physical fitness is an important requirement and while some roles are focused indoors (such as at airports and ports) some positions take you into the outdoors patrolling Australia’s waters. Customs Officers can also inspect incoming animals, plants, and animal and plant products to ensure compliance with laws and regulations to prevent the spread of exotic pests and diseases.

Careers Ladder


You must be an Australian Citizen over 18 years of age and have completed a Year 12 education or Year 10 with a trade certificate or Year 10 with a Cert IV and/or equivalent. You also need to meet minimum fitness, aptitude and psychometric requirements. If you think you can meet these minimum requirements, you can take the online self-assessment form to get a more detailed picture of requirements and gauge your suitability for the role.

Apply to the Border Force Recruit Traineeship (open once a year). This will require you to go through a number of online assessments. You gradually progress to a stage where you need to obtain certifications such as the ABF Medical Assessment and pass a Basic fitness level Assessment. There are seven stages to the intake process, and if you are successful they will give you a place on a training course.

Once you have been accepted onto a course they allocate you a campus. Then, you go on to complete your paid training which takes place over 12 months. Once you graduate you automatically get a pay rise as you start your first job as a Customs Office. You need to remain flexible while you study because you may need to travel outside of your preferred region to attend studies.


  • Acumen
  • Communicator
  • Confident
  • Discerning
  • Educated
  • Initiative
  • Meticulous
  • Perceptive
  • Resilient
  • Secure
  • Team player

Key Skills

  • Customer & personal service
  • Mathematics
  • Law & government
  • Administration & management
  • Food production
  • Public safety & security

Future Prospects

Gain experience, and consider a specialisation. Once you have built up experience then you can progress your career in the agency. As you gain experience, there are many career progression pathways within the Australian Border Force which will open for you.

Positions such as;

  • Immigration Officer
  • Maritime Border Command (Marine Unit)
  • Customs Broker